FOXBOROUGH, MASS. — Roughly two hours before the Bears’ matchup with the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, Bears general manager Ryan Poles met with the media.
Here are some of the top takeaways from Poles’ unexpected press conference.
1. Is Justin Fields the long-term starter in Chicago?
That door may have been slightly cracked open after Poles’ comments on Monday night. Obviously, Poles didn’t draft Fields with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 draft, so there isn’t any connection that links the two outside of these last nine months since Poles took over as the Bears general manager.
When asked if Fields is going to be evaluated over multiple seasons or at the end of this season to know if he can be a part of the future with this regime, here is how Poles responded.
“Really we’re taking that just one game at a time and evaluating how he approaches every single game and executes it and then we’ll build long-term from there.”
Could this be one of those generic general manager type of answers? Yes, it could definitely fall into that category, but Poles was also asked if it’s difficult to assess Fields given the pass blocking and he said, “you’re always worried about that,” but “I would say that when you watch the tape, there is give and take on that.”
The general manager also did express areas of Fields’ game that he has liked through the first six games.
Still, Poles knows the offensive line isn’t the only one at fault for the lack of production in the passing game. Fields, like all the other players on this roster, needs to prove “one game at a time” that he is the answer at the quarterback position.
2. Poles can still evaluate Justin Fields despite the subpar roster
One of the biggest criticisms from Poles in his first year as GM is that he failed to surround Fields with talent. That is evident by the consistent pressure Fields has been under throughout games and lack of separation from the wide receivers and tight ends.
Still, Poles doesn’t see those factors as a hindrance to Fields’ overall evaluation.
“Yeah. We’re still able to evaluate everybody in our current situation,” Poles said. “I’m convicted with the things that we did do this offseason and in the draft. And we’ll continue to chip away. And like I said, everything we’re going to do or doing is to sustain success over a long period of time. Within that, I think we can still evaluate our players — from the quarterback to guys on defense and all the positions.”
Poles also mentioned in the 11-minute press conference that Fields needs to continue working on “really speeding up to the game and making decisions quicker.” Although Fields hasn’t had much time in the pocket, the second-year quarterback hasn’t helped himself or the offensive line in some instances by hanging on to the football too long.
3. Will the Bears be players at the trade deadline?
It’s no secret the Bears could use a playmaker or nine throughout their entire roster. With the Nov. 1 trade deadline just over a week away, maybe Poles could add a piece to either the offensive line or wide receiver room.
“I think regardless we’re always going to be active in the terms of if it’s making phone calls or picking up the phone and just seeing if that is something that can improve our team and it makes sense for us, not only for now, because I’ve always talked about this – it’s sustaining success for a long period of time,” Poles said. “It’s not the short fix all the time. Just blending that together is tough because it takes a lot of discipline to do. So that’s what we’re balancing.”
These latest comments fall in line with how Poles has discussed building up this current Bears team. Even though the offense could use some help now, it seems Poles is still focusing on what is best for his team in the future.